FILE - University of Iowa Old Capitol building. (The Daily Iowan/file)

Shaw: “Incredibles 2”  is going to be a fantastic feminist film


The release of the Incredibles 2 trailer shows promising representation of feminism in a respectable light.

By Nichole Shaw

Fourteen years later, Disney fanatics are finally going to get what they’ve wanted for so long: the release of Incredibles 2 on June 15. However, the content portrayed in the trailer and its description led to some haters based on the feminist ideologies represented. Rather than hate a Disney film because of the political charge that a word such as “feminism” sparks from some people, Incredibles 2 should be praised for the appearance of a movement that is so important for young children to understand correctly.

Elastigirl will be the hotshot hero in the film this time around. Although, from the looks of the trailer, there will still be a lot of focus on Mr. Incredible and his parenting. This showcases a great message to the youth of our world that gender roles are not cemented, they are rather flexible. In a healthy and strong relationship, spouses will work hard to support their significant others in their strides toward success.

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In the trailer, Elastigirl tells Bob, “I couldn’t do this if you hadn’t taken over so well.” This statement shows the appreciation that Helen (Elastigirl) has for Bob (Mr. Incredible) in his support of her mission and career goals. It shows that women and men can take charge in different ways. While Helen is off fighting the world’s villains and bringing back the legitimacy that heroes once represented, Bob is fighting the oppressive gender constraints of parenting and learning how to be the head of a household and ensure that everyone succeeds.

In fact, a killer line is heard in the trailer when Bob says, “I have to succeed so she can succeed … so we can succeed.” This line is packed with power, it demonstrates what feminism should really mean to viewers. It’s not about women hating men or women thinking they are better than men. Feminism is about the equal opportunity for women to do the same things men can do. It is being a partner rather than a servant, and this statement by Bob exemplifies the unconditional support that goes both ways in a relationship. It shows the foundation that Helen has with being able to rely on her husband because of his want to see her, and subsequently, both of them, succeed. This is what feminism is all about.

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Being a stay-at-home dad shouldn’t emasculate men. It is a rather hard job to do, and Edna Mode says it perfectly in the trailer: “Done properly, parenting is a heroic act.” According to a 2017 Pew Research article, parenting has become a more integral part of a father’s identity; 57 percent of fathers say, “Parenting is extremely important to their identity.” It is clear that parenting is no longer a job left to women, it is rather an integral part of a man’s identity that he can take pride in.

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Finally, Disney is offering a film in which feminism and equality in a relationship between a man and woman are represented correctly, at least, it appears it will be from the vibe of the trailer. Feminism has had a shoddy past  being represented rightfully in Disney, with films such as Frozen — in which Elsa was a powerful villain but made to be a villain for a majority of the film and sisterly love and support was overshadowed by love interest between Anna and Kristoff. With Incredibles 2, we have a film in which a relationship empowers and fully supports feminism in all its glory. It’s time we celebrate it instead of cringing from the word “feminism,” which most don’t understand anyway.

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